Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Bill Would Reform Schools Later Start to School Year in 4-Part Plan

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Bill Would Reform Schools Later Start to School Year in 4-Part Plan

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS - The return of single-class high school basketball, mandatory cursive writing, a school start date after Labor Day and longer hours but fewer days in classrooms - it's all in one bill before the General Assembly. State Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, on Wednesday urged colleagues on the Education and Career Development Committee to approve the bill if the committee votes on the measure at a later meeting.

He said Indiana ought to keep in mind the Davidbeats-Goliath message of the movie "Hoosiers" and return to the days before 1998 when the state established four-class basketball.

"My granny and me would play cards all day, we'd bet a dollar on the games, and we'd watch the morning game, and we'd watch the evening game, from the regionals on through the rest of the tournament," Delph said. "It's how I learned about the geography of the state."

The bill also would reverse a Department of Education decision that left it to elementary schools to decide whether to continue teaching cursive writing.

It would allow top-performing schools to change their schedules from 180-day years, as long as they kept the same number of hours covered over the course of their school years.

And it would require schools - with exceptions for those with year round and balanced calendars - to start after Labor Day and end them before June 10.

"I think we ought to allow kids to be kids, families to be families and enjoy their summers together as families," he said.

Delph said those proposals all fit into one bill - Senate Bill 236 - because they all have a common strand.

"When the issue rises to a cultural issue that's important to the state, or when the issue rises to the level of an economic benefit of the state," Delph said, the General Assembly should step in.

That assertion was Delph's answer to a question that some lawmakers posed. …

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